How a Kristallnacht testimony changed my life - www.jewishaz.com: Feature

How a Kristallnacht testimony changed my life

JEFF LEWIS | Special to Jewish News | Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 10:00 am

My first exposure to the Holocaust came sitting around my grandparents’ dinner table as a young boy in Sioux City, Iowa. There were family stories of hiding from the Nazis before the war, Kristallnacht and escaping Germany. There were stories of relatives being sent to places with ominous sounding names. I became familiar with names like Westerbork, Auschwitz and Sobibor long before I made my bar mitzvah.

When I was living in Los Angeles, I had a chance to work at Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation. I did so thinking I was going to pay off a large karmic credit card debt. I started out as a volunteer, then went through training to conduct survivor interviews and I ended up working in the campaign office. Sometimes, when you want to give, you get something so much more valuable in return.

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